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Virus Could Extend the Life of Batteries

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The tobacco mosaic virus may be a devastating plant blight that destroys over 125 types of crops, including tomatoes, tobacco and peppers, but it also could increase the lifespan of a typical lithium battery by up to ten times. The tiny, rod-like cells of the virus are first coated with conductive materials and then added to battery technology.

Because the virus is the perfect size, can bind to metal and is self-replicating, it's an ideal candidate for use in batteries. The increased surface area created by the virus allows for more conduction, and thus, more battery power. If the research proves fruitful, the new batteries would be so long-lasting that an Amazon Kindle would only need to be charged once a year.

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Sylke Rohrlach, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0
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Animals
These Strange Sea Spiders Breathe Through Their Legs
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Sylke Rohrlach, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0

We know that humans breathe through their lungs and fish breathe through their gills—but where exactly does that leave sea spiders?

Though they might appear to share much in common with land spiders, sea spiders are not actually arachnids. And, by extension, they don't circulate blood and oxygen the way you'd expect them to, either.

A new study from Current Biology found that these leggy sea dwellers (marine arthropods of the class Pycnogonida) use their external skeleton to take in oxygen. Or, more specifically: They use their legs. The sea spider contracts its legs—which contain its guts—to pump oxygen through its body.

Somehow, these sea spiders hardly take the cake for Strangest Spider Alive (especially because they're not actually spiders); check out, for instance, our round-up of the 10 strangest spiders, and watch the video from National Geographic below:

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Food
How to Make Perfect Fried Chicken, According to Chemistry
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Cooking amazing fried chicken isn’t just art—it’s also chemistry. Learn the science behind the sizzle by watching the American Chemical Society’s latest "Reactions" video below.

Host Kyle Nackers explains the three important chemical processes that occur as your bird browns in the skillet—hydrolysis, oxidation, and polymerization—and he also provides expert-backed cooking hacks to help you whip up the perfect picnic snack.

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